WASHINGTON: The woman at the center of a sexual assault case against a former Naval Academy football player testified Tuesday that the midshipman “kind of laughed” when she asked him if they had sex at an alcohol-fueled party and said: “What? You don’t remember?”
On the opening day of Joshua Tate’s trial, the alleged victim said she drank heavily at the 2012 party and doesn’t remember much of what happened that night. Tate, of Nashville, Tenn., faces charges of aggravated sexual assault and lying to investigators in a trial that turns on whether the woman was too drunk to consent to sex. The closely watched court-martial comes at a time when the military is under heavy scrutiny to curb sexual assaults in the Armed Forces.
During opening statements, prosecutor Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Stormer described the woman as drinking “shot after shot after shot” and taking “swig and swig and swig” from a bottle of alcohol. Stormer said the woman eventually became so drunk that she blacked out, walking and talking but not remembering what was going on.
One of Tate’s attorneys, meanwhile, argued the woman was able to make her own decisions, including those about sex. Cmdr. Art Record described the woman as having significant conversations.